NUNC DIMITTIS (Bourgeois)

Composer: Louis Bourgeois

Louis Bourgeois (b. Paris, France, c. 1510; d. Paris, 1561). In both his early and later years Bourgeois wrote French songs to entertain the rich, but in the history of church music he is known especially for his contribution to the Genevan Psalter. Apparently moving to Geneva in 1541, the same year John Calvin returned to Geneva from Strasbourg, Bourgeois served as cantor and master of the choristers at both St. Pierre and St. Gervais, which is to say he was music director there under the pastoral leadership of Calvin. Bourgeois used the choristers to teach the new psalm tunes to the congregation. The extent of Bourgeois's involvement in the Genevan Psalter is a matter of scholar­ly debate. Calvin had published several partial psalter… Go to person page >

Harmonizer: Claude Goudimel

The music of Claude Goudimel (b. Besançon, France, c. 1505; d. Lyons, France, 1572) was first published in Paris, and by 1551 he was composing harmonizations for some Genevan psalm tunes-initially for use by both Roman Catholics and Protestants. He became a Calvinist in 1557 while living in the Huguenot community in Metz. When the complete Genevan Psalter with its unison melodies was published in 1562, Goudimel began to compose various polyphonic settings of all the Genevan tunes. He actually composed three complete harmonizations of the Genevan Psalter, usually with the tune in the tenor part: simple hymn-style settings (1564), slightly more complicated harmonizations (1565), and quite elaborate, motet-like settings (1565-1566). The vario… Go to person page >

Tune Information

Title: NUNC DIMITTIS (Bourgeois)
Composer: Louis Bourgeois (1551)
Harmonizer: Claude Goudimel (1551)
Meter: 6.6.7.6.6.7
Incipit: 56543 24312 21155
Key: F Major
Source: Pseaulmes cinquante de David, 1547;Genevan Cantique de Simeon
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Louis Bourgeois (PHH 3) composed NUNC DIMITTIS for the Song of Simeon; the tune was first published in the 1547 edition of the Genevan Psalter. Claude Goudimel (PHH 6) wrote the harmonization in 1564 with the melody originally in the tenor voice. Some Christian denominations associate this tune with the ancient Greek "Candlelight Hymn," which begins with the words "O gladsome Light, O grace" in the translation by Matthew Bridges (PHH 410).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

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Instances (1 - 26 of 26)
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Include 20 pre-1979 instances
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